11 Difference between Benign and Malignant Tumors (With Table)

The word tumor usually makes people shiver after hearing it. Many people have the mindset that any abnormal growth in the body is a sign of cancer. 

But most tumors are not cancerous. A tumor is a cluster of abnormal cells that may be cancerous or non-cancerous. The best option is to seek medical assistance from a professional physician for more clarification after testing. 

Research shows that a tumor can be benign, premalignant, and malignant. Premalignant are abnormal cells that have the potential of developing into cancerous cells. 

So, what is the main difference between benign and malignant tumors? The former are abnormal cells that are non-cancerous while the latter are abnormal cells that are cancerous. 

Cancer is destroying the lives of many families across the world. There is no treatment for this deadly disease at the moment since more research is being undertaken. 

But there is no need to freak when you notice abnormal growth on any part of your body. Consider consulting your medical doctor for testing and diagnosis. 

This article provides detailed insight into the differences between benign and malignant tumors in a tabular form. Take the time to read through and learn the similarities between benign and malignant tumors at the end. 

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Comparison Table (Bening Tumor vs Malignant Tumor)

Basic Terms

Benign Tumor

Malignant Tumor


Abnormal cell growth that results in the formation of a lump or bump.

Abnormal cell growth can spread through the body via bloodstream or lymph.

Growth Rate

Slow growing.

Rapid growth.

Invasion Activity

Abnormal cells do not invade the surrounding body parts.

Abnormal cells usually invade the surrounding body parts.

Ability to Spread

Abnormal cells are specific to the area of origin.

Spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system.


  • Adenomas
  • Fibroids
  • Hemangiomas
  • Lipomas
  • Carcinoma
  • Sarcoma
  • Germ cell
  • Blastoma


  • MRI
  • CT scan
  •  X-rays
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood test
  • Biopsy




  • Surgical removal
  • Antibiotic medication
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

Side Effects

Causes swellings and redness on the site of occurrence.

Causes weight loss, fatigue, and pain.


Chances of Recurrence

Less often

Quite often


Appear normal and easy to detect.

Increase in size, change shape and color.


Can move when pushed.

Cannot move when pushed.

What Is Benign Tumor?

Benign tumors are the non-cancerous growth of cells in the body. The good news is that these abnormal growth cells do not spread out to other tissues.

Unfortunately, they cause severe pain to several parts of the body once they started to develop. Fortunately, they tend to respond well to treatment.

Examples of Benign Growth:

  1. Adenomas are also known as a polyp. They occur mostly in gland-like cells such as epithelial tissue, organs, and other structures.
  2. Fibroids are tumors that grow into fibrous tissue. They occur mostly in the uterine of women. The good news is that they do not need treatment. They can surgically be removed by a doctor.
  3. Hemangiomas are tumors that result in the development of extra blood vessels and they are quite common in children. They occur mostly on the skin and liver.
  4. Lipomas are slow-growing tumors that cause the development of fatty tissues beneath the skin. They occur mostly around the neck, shoulders, armpits, and body trunk.

What Is Malignant Tumor?

Malignant tumors are cancerous cells. They are known to divide quickly and invade various tissues in the body. They tend to spread to other tissues through the lymph and blood circulation system.

These masses need to be monitored and reduce the rate of multiplication. Stage one of cancer is treatable but advancement in technology is even making things much easier in the treatment area.

Examples of Malignant tumors include:

  1. Carcinoma is cancerous cells that tend to begin in the epithelial tissue of the skin. They are quite common when compared to other types of malignant growth.
  2. Sarcoma is a malignant growth that occurs mostly in the bones, fat, tendon, cartilage, muscles, and other connective tissues.
  3. Leukemia is malignant tumors that occur in the bone marrow and other blood-forming tissues. These abnormal cells enter the bloodstream causing a negative impact on the person.
  4. Germ cells are tumors that occur in the cell that produces sperm or eggs. The growth is quite popular in the testicles and ovaries.

Differences Between Benign and Malignant Tumours

  1. Benign tumors do not invade the nearby tissues while malignant tumors tend to invade the surrounding tissues.
  2. Malignant tumors tend to reoccur after treatment while benign growth does not reoccur after surgical removal.
  3. Benign growth tends to be smooth and has a regular shape whereas malignant growth tends to have an uneven shape.
  4. The abnormal cell growth as a result of benign is moveable when pushed while those of malignant tumors are not.
  5. Symptoms of benign tumors are not life-threatening while those of malignant tumors are quite life-threatening.
  6. Benign tumors may not need treatment while malignant tumors require immediate treatment.
  7. Examples of benign growth are Adenomas, Fibroids, Hemangiomas, and Lipomas while those of malignant growth are Carcinoma, Sarcoma, Leukemia, and Germ cells.

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According to research, tumors are masses of abnormal cells. Benign tumors are harmless and they can be left alone. Malignant tumors cause a serious problem and they need medication.

Generally, malignant tumors are life-threatening and treatment tends to depend on the kind of tumor. Therefore, it is good to know the core difference between benign and malignant tumors.

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